Why Are We Buried Separately?

I was driving to work taking a different route.  Kristie Galvani told me that taking the Southern Parkway to Wellwood Avenue was much faster than taking the Long Island Expressway, so I decided to give it a try.

I got off at Wellwood and I passed a slew of cemeteries.  At first, I passed a Christian cemetery.  Then I passed a Jewish cemetery.  After that, I passed a Veteran’s cemetery.  I started to think about our burial rituals.  Each religion, each culture has different rituals to help pass the deceased to another place.

In the US, we are so intermixed.  So many of us are interracially married, have interfaith marriages or even homosexual marriages, so why do we insist on burying our friends and neighbors in different cemeteries?

I know I may be a little controversial here, but if we are all equal, then shouldn’t we be placed together as one people.  We can still have our burial rituals at the grave side. But would it be so bad to be buried together?


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  1. Basil C. Puglisi

    I was thinking “Habbits are hard to break”, perhaps we just have not thought about it to act on it? Perhaps it will change as the next generations make decisions for their loved ones, not sure but that sure was an interesting observation…

    1. Hilary JM Topper, MPA

      Thanks Basil! I think you’re right. If things are always one way people seem to think it should always be that way…

  2. Kristie Galvani

    That’s a really odd baking pan!!!

    1. Hilary JM Topper, MPA

      I know… At first I didn’t know what it was… hahaha

  3. Sharon Yamamoto

    A very good question.  I guess it’s because the connection of man’s beliefs about death and the afterlife to their religion made it the norm for the service to be religious in nature, which meant people were buried in a churchyard, or with people of their own religious affiliation.  Today, I guess it’s so deeply ingrained, I don’t see it changing.  Funny, if you think about it, because after all, cemeteries are for the living, not the dead.  The dead don’t need a place to be, or a place to visit.  But I guess the living people want to feel like they are honoring their own religion, so they keep their own kind in their own places.  I’m sure the souls of the dead wouldn’t care if their remains were next to someone of another religion.  But the living seem to think the dead care, so they go to great lengths to mark the graves and build grand mausoleums showing religious affiliations.  A waste of effort and money, if you ask me.  

  4. angela

    We are buried by religion because religious organizations run the cemeteries. We all want to go to the right heaven. I’m really not sure that we are that close to equality in this country yet.

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